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Best Mac Computers for Gaming 2015


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#21 Jan

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 09:57 AM

Yes, and the classic Mac Pro is still, in my humble opinion, the best and most beautiful tower design ever. It's extremely simple to swap HDs and graphics cards and the huge aluminum block looks bad ass.
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#22 macdude22

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 10:25 AM

View PostJan, on 14 July 2015 - 09:57 AM, said:

Yes, and the classic Mac Pro is still, in my humble opinion, the best and most beautiful tower design ever. It's extremely simple to swap HDs and graphics cards and the huge aluminum block looks bad ass.

And it works great at heating my home office in the winter! :teehee:

I get the mac roaring hot, get the Ham radio roaring hot. Who needs central heat.

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#23 Cougar

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 12:33 PM

View PostNickburger, on 11 July 2015 - 07:48 AM, said:

Any comment with regards to the gaming power of a Hackintosh?

I have one. For price/performace, it can't be beat. I have a first-gen i5 I built in 2011 for around $750. Since then, I've upgraded to a GTX 970 for $300, and overclocked it to 4 Ghz with a nice cooler. Runs anything I throw at it pretty much maxed @ 1080p, including The Witcher 3.

That said, I wouldn't build one unless you are willing to tinker. It won't work right the first time. There will be odd problems. For the 970, you have to use nVidia's web drivers, and it can be difficult to get iMessage and FaceTime working. If you want the fastest performance with the least headache, I'd do as others suggested and go with a Mac Pro with 970. Though you still have to use nVidia's drivers, at least until Apple uses Maxwell in an upcoming Mac...

In other news, it really depresses me that you have to spend $2500 to get a laptop with a dedicated GPU these days. At least integrated graphics aren't as bad, I guess.

View PostJan, on 14 July 2015 - 09:57 AM, said:

Yes, and the classic Mac Pro is still, in my humble opinion, the best and most beautiful tower design ever. It's extremely simple to swap HDs and graphics cards and the huge aluminum block looks bad ass.

When I was a Mac tech in college, my most remembered experience with the Mac Pro is lugging those huge aluminum blocks up stairs while the sharp, unergonomic handles pained my hands. They are beautiful if you don't have to move them.

#24 macdude22

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Posted 14 July 2015 - 12:38 PM

View PostCougar, on 14 July 2015 - 12:33 PM, said:

In other news, it really depresses me that you have to spend $2500 to get a laptop with a dedicated GPU these days. At least integrated graphics aren't as bad, I guess.

Is Iris Pro Bad? No. Should I get dedicated graphics on a $2000 base price laptop. YOUBETTERBELIEVEIT.
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#25 Jan

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 03:12 AM

View PostCougar, on 14 July 2015 - 12:33 PM, said:

When I was a Mac tech in college, my most remembered experience with the Mac Pro is lugging those huge aluminum blocks up stairs while the sharp, unergonomic handles pained my hands. They are beautiful if you don't have to move them.

I hear you, I hear you. We live on the top floor in a 120 years old townhouse without an elevator. It already was a pain to get a fully-decked Mac Pro with 4 HDDs up there. Now I'm just hoping nothing ever happens to my grumpy old aluminum block and it can stay where it is. :laugh:
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#26 Frost

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 04:10 PM

View Postmacdude22, on 14 July 2015 - 10:25 AM, said:

And it works great at heating my home office in the winter! :teehee:

I get the mac roaring hot, get the Ham radio roaring hot. Who needs central heat.

You want to talk space heaters. I've got dual dual-core G5s and a QuadroFX 4500 under my desk, and an overclocked Devil's Canyon i7 and Titan X on top of my desk.

Dat room temperature doe.
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#27 the Battle Cat

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Posted 15 July 2015 - 06:18 PM

My stateroom is built over the steam ducts cooling the atomic pile and the ion drive aft stabilizers vent into it.  It's OK in a vacuum but shut the door and gadzooks.
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#28 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 12:10 AM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 13 July 2015 - 07:58 PM, said:

OWC sells 6-core 3.33 and 3.46 GHz Mac Pro's for around $1500. That's the best option for gaming performance.
For gaming only, 6 cores are overkill. 4 is enough and cheaper. Also, $1500? Wow what a huge ripoff! 6 cores 3.46 GHz CPUs can be found for roughly $200 on eBay.

#29 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 07:16 AM

View PostCamper-Hunter, on 17 July 2015 - 12:10 AM, said:

For gaming only, 6 cores are overkill. 4 is enough and cheaper. Also, $1500? Wow what a huge ripoff! 6 cores 3.46 GHz CPUs can be found for roughly $200 on eBay.

I'm talking the whole Mac Pro as a ready to use machine for $1500.

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#30 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 17 July 2015 - 12:19 PM

Oh, my bad. (Note to self: don't post in forums just after getting up from bed. :D )

#31 Vader

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 04:37 PM

What are your thoughts on the 2012 - 2014 15" MacBook Pros? These tend to pop up on the Refurb store on a weekly basis. Is the new ATI card a huge step up from the Nvidia 650m/750m machines?

#32 macdude22

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Posted 23 July 2015 - 05:13 PM

View PostVader, on 23 July 2015 - 04:37 PM, said:

What are your thoughts on the 2012 - 2014 15" MacBook Pros? These tend to pop up on the Refurb store on a weekly basis. Is the new ATI card a huge step up from the Nvidia 650m/750m machines?


ATI's drivers on OS X are significantly better FWIW.
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#33 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 24 July 2015 - 11:19 AM

View PostVader, on 23 July 2015 - 04:37 PM, said:

What are your thoughts on the 2012 - 2014 15" MacBook Pros? These tend to pop up on the Refurb store on a weekly basis. Is the new ATI card a huge step up from the Nvidia 650m/750m machines?

They are ok. The M370X is 20% faster than the 750M, which is about 20% faster than the 650M. It's a decent step up, but not a huge step up.
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#34 likesmacs

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 05:19 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 11 July 2015 - 09:46 AM, said:

Totally agree with you. I didn't include them since the person this article is targeting isn't going to spend the time/money try to find and upgrade an old Mac Pro. In Barefeats 5K 60Hz Performance Shootout the 2010 Mac Pro with 3.33 GHz 6-core and GTX 970, 980 and Titan X all destroyed both the iMac and the tube Mac Pro with D700's


I'd be willing to spend the time and money to upgrade an Old Mac Pro if it will turn into a great gaming machine.  It sounds like I could save money and still end up with a strong machine?  I'm not into building my own computer though but willing to try now if possible.  Thanks.

#35 likesmacs

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 05:21 PM

View Postmattw, on 11 July 2015 - 09:16 AM, said:

Probably worth mentioning that for gaming a used older Mac Pro is still an option until whenever Apple cut us off from a newer version of  OS X - although obviously there will be no warranty etc.

A 2009 machine can be picked up for very little and converted to 2012 spec for little outlay. RAM and CPU upgrades are very economical and the GPU options still hold their own against an upgraded iMac Retina.



I would be interested in converting to 2012 specs but don't know how.  If it will save me money, I'm willing to try.

#36 Sneaky Snake

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 08:33 PM

View Postlikesmacs, on 06 August 2015 - 05:21 PM, said:

I would be interested in converting to 2012 specs but don't know how.  If it will save me money, I'm willing to try.

It will definitely save you money over a new Mac Pro or iMac. I would recommend picking up a 2009 or newer Mac Pro from macsales.com (or anywhere else that sells them). You want to focus on getting one that has a high CPU frequency, not necessarily high core count (if your primary focus is gaming). A quad core 3.3 GHz will be faster then an 8-core 2.26 GHz in nearly all games. I believe the fastest clock speeds can be gotten from the 6-core models, which have up to a 3.46 GHz clock speed.

Once you find a Mac Pro with a powerful enough CPU just make sure it has at least 8 GB of RAM in it (which is trivially easy to upgrade if it does not - will take literally 2 minutes to upgrade) and then purchase a decent graphics card to go in it. Apparently most of the newer Nvidia cards work totally fine in OS X, but I'm not going to make any guarantees. I would recommend getting one from a retailer where you can return it in the case it does not work. Even the Titan X will work in OS X apparently. A 2009 Mac Pro with a decent CPU and a GTX 970 or faster graphics card will be a better gaming computer then anything Apple currently sells.
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#37 Cougar

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Posted 06 August 2015 - 10:37 PM

The latest Maxwell nVidia cards work in OS X only with Nvidia's Web Drivers (since Apple doesn't use the cards themselves.) Luckily, nVidia is pretty responsible keeping them updated with every OS X update, and apparently they are also adding Metal support for El Capitan. I believe the only snag when you put them in a real Mac is they can't display the bootloader, but I might be wrong. The Netkas forums is the place to go to learn more.

#38 Camper-Hunter

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 02:18 PM

View PostSneaky Snake, on 06 August 2015 - 08:33 PM, said:

I believe the fastest clock speeds can be gotten from the 6-core models, which have up to a 3.46 GHz clock speed.

4 core 3.46 GHz also exist: I use one. They may even be a bit faster than 6 core CPUs in some case, since the amount of cache is the same, but is shared between less cores; I don't really know if that has any impact though.
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Even the Titan X will work in OS X apparently.

Caution with the most power hungry cards, which require 8 pin jacks (capable of delivering 120 W). The Mac only has two 6 pin ones (80 W). Many people use 8 to 6 pin adapters and have lived to tell it, or Molex to 8 pin adapters, but IMHO that's not a very good idea. Using external power supplies is better, but not very practical.

#39 likesmacs

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 03:42 PM

:) Thank you to Sneaky Snake, Cougar, and Camper-Hunter for your advice and help.  I really appreciate it very much!  I will look into getting the components and hopefully build a strong gaming machine.

#40 Frost

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Posted 07 August 2015 - 04:22 PM

View PostCamper-Hunter, on 07 August 2015 - 02:18 PM, said:

Caution with the most power hungry cards, which require 8 pin jacks (capable of delivering 120 W). The Mac only has two 6 pin ones (80 W). Many people use 8 to 6 pin adapters and have lived to tell it, or Molex to 8 pin adapters, but IMHO that's not a very good idea. Using external power supplies is better, but not very practical.
MacVidCards tested the Titan X and it stays within the Mac Pro's power envelope, unlike the original Titan and 780 Ti. So you're good to go using it off regular internal power in a Mac Pro.
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